About a week ago, I posted a blog from The MOB Society (Moms of Boys) it made me feel better about my son and how he acts sometimes. It felt normal that he was normal. However, a colleague/friend of mine here in Chicago is a very provocative writer. She is savvy and I love what she writes. Recently she grabbed my attention when she posted, “Boys will Be Boys” is a Load of Crap. Of course, I am intrigued. I read it and had several thoughts to myself. I recall being single or married without kids and saying “I will never let my kids do that or be THAT mom”. Oh, you Remember saying that to yourself too? It falls on the same category of mothers who have only daughters. I like watching moms who have girls who look on with disbelief when they see boys, well, being boys. Karma is funny as I said the same thing after my daughter was born and saw all these crazy little boys. Though, my daughter can keep up with the boys, she was a super active little girl at the time. I then remembered having a conversation with my dear friend who had a boy 3 months after my daughter asking how do I discipline my daughter. “Um, well I don’t, she hardly does anything wrong”. She gave me a smirk.
Then my son was born…crawling at 4 months old (if you don’t believe me ask my mom friends), walking at 10 months old, climbing the tables, walls and bathroom vanities at 12 months old. Yep, he was one of those boys now. A monkey, a stinker, and now the Prince of time outs.
Going out to dinner with some friends, we were talking about our son and how he tires us, keeps us on our toes, etc. The father said, “Oh, you are like us, you had a girl first. Thinking life is great, she is wonderful, then BAM you got a boy.” Boys rock your world. I love it though and so glad I have one of each to experience raising both genders.
Now I consider myself to be a good parent. I have no problem giving my kids boundaries or disciplining when necessary in an effort to change behavior for the better. My first public discipline for my son was at Millennium Park at the Kids Tent this year. I was watching him play with the big foam blocks. There was a block he wanted, but another little boy a tad older was playing with it. He pushed my son aside, but I let it be, the parents both there were not paying attention and I was trying to keep an eye on my daughter too who was at the art table. I look down and my son is biting the other boy. Mortified, I pulled him off, squeezed his cheeks and said, “NO BITING!” and found a place to put him in time out. I went to the parents and asked if he was ok and apologized. The mom told her son that my boy was in time out for what he did wrong. (Her words…) and she said, “I think he was a little shock at what happened” and I apologized again and the dad rolled his eyes at me. Really? I thought to myself. What I wanted to say is my son cannot talk, he has a Sensory Processing Disorder, since he cannot ask for the block that he wanted to play with and your son pushed him aside in which neither of you were paying attention, his reaction is to bite to get that attention. But whatever, what goes around, right? Has my son learned yet for his behavior in which I am trying to correct? Nope, because the same thing happened but to a little girl who was about 6 years old driving in one of those yellow and red toddler cars at an indoor play center…she was clearly too big for it, but my son wanted to get back into it. So he tried with all of his might to get in it with her. I told him no and to wait his turn and tried to deter him to go play with something else. Well, he was hell bent on getting in that car, so he goes in and bites her and bites her hard that she is crying. Now I really feel awful and stroked the girls hair and said I was sorry. I remove my son, another time out and I make him go in and apologize. He does this by saying “ory” now and gives a hug to her. (he is beginning to use his words better and talk more, which is exciting for me) I explained to her and she gave me a smile and said thank you. More mature than the dad in the Park.
Does this warrant the boys will be boys cliché? Absolutely not, we as parents have a responsibility to let our kids be kids too, but also help redirect behavior when it is inappropriate. Trust me, I have seen rowdy boys at birthday parties where neither parents are paying attention and the mother in law of the party steps in to say something to the boys….
Boys are biologically different, I mean, I don’t have to really explain or go there, do I? Us girls, married one to have a kid. I have to ask, have you seen the movie “Animal House?” That pretty much sums it up. Testosterone runs wild in boys until they hit puberty, it actually alters their brain development during their youth. Then it levels off and goes elsewhere…And if you haven’t seen the pool scene of Fast Times of Richmond High, then go watch it. You see, boys don’t understand how to control emotions when hormones are taking over and trying to mature so they run like animals, act like animals and eat like animals too, they touch themselves, laugh when the burp (even at 2) and loves trains, planes and automoblies…so yes, Boys WILL be Boys. So it is up to us emotionally, highly estrogen dominant mothers to help boys with their emotions. Let’s face it, dad isn’t exactly equipped with the emotional intelligence to help their boys. And moms of girls, can you explain your hormones to your husband when you are PMSing? Ever experience the baby blues? Think of it along the same lines in which your hormones are regulating…boys’ hormones are regulating too, it just takes the first 12-14 years. Then they go crazy again in college…but I am glad I am not there yet…
It is hard to explain to moms of girls on why boys are boys. They are for very good reasons! As girls will be girls. No matter the gender, just understand that we are all trying to play the game of parenting. It is not perfect and no way is right, but to continue to be advocates for our children no matter what.